Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Van Nistelrooy's a Record Breaker

Newspaper article The Journal (Newcastle, England)

Van Nistelrooy's a Record Breaker

Article excerpt

Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson hailed the contribution of Ruud van Nistelrooy after his double strike rescued his side.

The Red Devils trailed 2-0 at the interval but Dutch striker van Nistelrooy, in just his second match back after a month out injured, hit back to earn his side a draw.

The goals established van Nistelrooy as the club's top goalscorer in European competition ahead of Denis Law.

Ferguson said: "Denis Law was one of the greatest players of all time ( but van Nistelrooy is fantastic. I can't praise him enough in what was only his second game in four months.

"We were pushing up early in the game and allowed their forwards to get on the ball too easily. But goals change games and Ruud changed the game for us.

"We certainly grabbed the game much better in the second half. We showed far more purpose and intent. Intent is an important part of football and we showed that in the second half.

"We don't forget the first half but in the second half, give credit. We found something we find a lot of the time and I think we deserved the point.

"I'm happy ( 2-0 down at half-time I have to be."

Trailing to first-half efforts from Cris and Pierre Frau, van Nistelrooy, ably assisted by dazzling Portuguese winger Cristiano Ronaldo, dragged his team back into the game in five stunning minutes after the interval.

First Ronaldo dug out a cross that allowed van Nistelrooy to steer a low header past Gregory Coupet, his 29th European goal, one more than the legendary Law.

There were no celebrations from the former PSV man just then. Instead, he waited until Ronaldo's attempted shot had deflected into his path off Anthony Reveillere, offering the time and space to beat Coupet for a second time.

It was a significant achievement and one Sir Alex will no doubt hope can be carried into his side's Premiership campaign, where they have already fallen nine points adrift of Arsenal. …

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